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Report: ATLUTD, Newcastle agree transfer fee for Almiron

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What was once a matter of time now appears to be merely a matter of formalities and medical tests, as Atlanta United midfielder Migurl Almiron is set to join Newcastle United after the two clubs agreed a transfer fee (finally) on Tuesday, according to a report from the Atlanta Journal Constitution.

[ MORE: Sporting KC trade Opara to MNUFC for potential 7-figure sum ]

Newcastle had been long rumored as the European and Premier League side most keen on signing the 24-year-old Paraguayan in recent months and weeks, yet there appeared to be very little movement due to ongoing uncertainty regarding the Magpies’ finances.

The report did not mention a dollar figure, but Atlanta United president Darren Eales said right after the Five Stripes’ 2018 MLS Cup triumph that it would take a bid of at least $30 million, a sum that would dwarf the current MLS record for an outgoing player. That number was received last year when Bayern Munich signed Alphonso Davies for (up to) $22 million. Almiron is reportedly en route to the northeast of England to complete the necessary medical examinations before signing on the dotted line.

[ MORE: Inter Miami proposes Fort Lauderdale training center ]

Eales and Co., aren’t exactly operating from the strongest position of power, though, as they announced last week the arrival of Gonzalo “Pity” Martinez as the club’s fourth Designated Player. MLS rules limit teams to three DPs, meaning one would have to come off the books before the start of the season. Almiron was always the obvious answer to that particular problem, but Newcastle will have surely known this and used that knowledge to their advantage during negotiations.

On one hand, Newcastle feels like the perfect place for Almiron to take the next step in his career without skipping too many in between and setting himself up to fail. On the other hand, Newcastle could very well be relegated to the Championship in five months’ time and Almiron will be looking for a new club once again. Back on that first hand again, he’s precisely the kind of creative playmaker so desperately coveted by a side with only 19 goals scored through 23 games.

[ MORE: What did we learn from USMNT’s win over Panama? ]

Either way, it’s a massive win for all parties involved — Atlanta, more so and smarter than just about any other team in MLS, will reinvest that money back into the first-team squad; the perception of MLS improves every time a young player exits the league better than they were when they arrived; Newcastle owner Mike Ashley can now say he backed manager Rafa Benitez in the transfer market; and Almiron can begin the European chapter of his career with nearly a decade of high-level soccer still left in him.

10-man Real Madrid comes back to draw 10-man Arsenal

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Maybe Zinedine Zidane ought to rethink his stance on Gareth Bale?

Of course it’s just preseason, but the on-the-market Real Match forward subbed into Tuesday’s match in Maryland on Tuesday and spearheaded a comeback 2-2 draw against Arsenal.

Real won in penalties, as all International Champions Cup matches must have a winner.

[ MORE: Rich new deal for Hudson-Odoi ]

Real was down a man after 10 minutes when Nacho Fernandez handled a ball on the goal line, and Arsenal also went down a man when Sokratis Papastathopoulos saw his second yellow of the contest in the 40th minute.

Alexandre Lacazette converted a penalty, then set-up Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang for a goal 14 minutes later as the Gunners handled their business early.

The chemistry between two remains very real.

Real started new boys Eden Hazard, Ferland Mendy, and Luka Jovic in addition to Toni Kroos, Luka Modric, Karim Benzema, and Sergio Ramos.

Bale came in for Hazard at halftime and poked a 57th minute rebound home and Marcelo set up Marco Asensio two minutes later to complete the comeback.

Asensio, sadly, would only last a few more minutes, needing to be stretchered off with injury.

Champions League wrap: PSV strikes late to win thriller (video)

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Five first legs of the UEFA Champions League’s second qualifying round are in the books, including a thrilling back-and-forth with a show-stopping stoppage time winner.

[ MORE: Rodgers talks down Maguire sale ]


PSV Eindhoven 3-2 FC Basel

Bruma scored a debut opener for the Dutch hosts, who fell behind 2-1 in the 79th minute before Sam Lammers and Donyell Malen struck in the 89th minute and second minute of stoppage, respectively, to put PSV ahead.

Basel will be okay taken two away goals home via Albian Aljeti and Omar Alderete.

Lammers came in for Mexican star Hirving Lozano in the 79th minute to score the leveler within 10 minutes before Malen, who went the full 90, kept his focus to deliver this clever winner.

The New Saints 0-2 Copenhagen

Pieros Sotiriou and Robert Skov scored on either side of halftime to give the Danish powers a healthy advantage heading into the second leg.

Elsewhere
FK Sutjeska 0-1 APOEL Nicosia
Saburtalo 0-2 Dinamo Zagreb
Viktoria Plzen 0-0 Olympiacos

Wednesday
BATE Borisov v. Rosenborg — 1 p.m. ET
Ferencvaros v. Valletta — 2 p.m. ET
CFR Cluj v. Maccabi Tel-Aviv — 2 p.m. ET
Maribor v. AIK — 2:15 p.m. ET
Red Star Belgrade v. HJK Helsinki — 2:45 p.m. ET
Dundalk v. Qarabag — 2:45 p.m. ET
Celtic v. Nomme Kalju — 2:45 p.m. ET

Rodgers says no close bids for Maguire

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Those tired of seeing Harry Maguire‘s name in the headlines, hoping his transfer saga had concluded with weekend reports that Manchester United agreed to a fee with Leicester City, well, they are going to be sorely disappointed.

[ MORE: Who is Newcastle’s new $50M forward? ]

Leicester City boss Brendan Rodgers credited Maguire for his professionalism — the center back scored in a friendly win on Tuesday — and said that the club’s vice chairman Aiyawatt “Top” Srivaddhanaprabha has not received a fitting bid for the 26 year old’s services.

From The Leicester Mercury:

“There’s no big pressure to sell any player. If a player does leave Leicester City, then the player would need to be met because we have a top-level player, coveted by top-level clubs and I respect that,” Rodgers said. “Harry is on a long contract here and there’s been no valuation or near to that which would make Top have a look.”

Nooooooooooo.

Look, we’ve still got a few weeks until the close of the window, and every supporter has a target they want their club to acquire and some have some assets they hope stay in the same shirt at the deadline.

The Maguire story is getting a bit tedious now. He wants to go to Manchester United, but Rodgers is happy to keep him at Leicester. Maguire’s not the player who will quit on the club if he’s not sold, and Leicester’s hope of landing a replacement will dip as the deadline draws nearer and clubs like Burnley (James Tarkowski) realize their replacements options have been lessened by the wait.

Janssen leaves Spurs for Liga MX in $8M deal

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Vincent Janssen‘s less-than-ideal tenure with Tottenham Hotspur has come to its end, and he’s moving his way to this side of the Atlantic.

Liga MX side Monterrey has agreed to buy Janssen, Spurs announced Tuesday. The deal is for a reported $8 million.

[ MORE: Rich new deal for Hudson-Odoi ]

The Dutchman turned 25 this summer. He played just 42 times for Spurs after arriving from AZ Alkmaar for around $25 million in 2016, scoring six times, but did manage five goals and four assists in a half-year loan to Fenerbahce in 2017-18.

Janssen saw his time with the Netherlands national team peter out during his tenure at Spurs. After a red-hot start, he has not been capped since 2017. Janssen has seven goals in 17 caps.

His time at Spurs cannot be labeled as anything but a gigantic bust, but Janssen is still pretty young and has a chance to recapture his career momentum.

And he looks pretty happy about it.